raised bulge lines on ceiling

Can someone please tell me what is going on in my house. Almost all he rooms are starting to form these raised bulges lines from wall to wall on the ceiling. They are raised and don't move when pushed on. I'm at a loss.

  • 2
    those are the seams between drywall panels – jsotola Oct 12 at 1:54
  • What would be causing them to protrude like that? – Sam Oct 12 at 2:59
  • Movement of the framing; could be humidity changes causing expansion/contraction of the framing lumber. Could be foundation movement. Are you sure it is recent? You might start to see cracks developing... – Jimmy Fix-it Oct 12 at 7:11

This is normal, they are just the seams between the drywall panels. Even the best drywall installers can't make a perfectly level joint. But, a skilled installer will feather them so they are not noticeable under most circumstances.

Based on the shadow, your picture has oblique (low-angle) lighting, it will accentuate the seams. If you have a long wall, put a flashlight near the wall skimming the surface. You should be able to see the seams on your walls also.

  • The flashlight trick works great to show any imperfections in a wall before prime & paint. – Z4-tier Oct 15 at 20:11

is it new construction? Houses are going to settle and those drywall joints sometimes bulge out a little bit. Even if it's not new construction, houses will continue to shift as they age, especially with seasonal changes in temperature and humidity levels.

The drywall contractor that hung those sheets should have left a small gap between them, which was then covered with drywall tape and coated with joint compound. That gives them enough wiggle room to shift around as things settle. As long as no major cracks form, this is completely normal and you have nothing to worry about.

Next time you're in someone else's house, take a look at the ceiling and you will probably see the same thing. Is there a chance that it's been like this all along and you never really noticed it until now?

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